Ongoing devastation due to floods caused by weeks of torrential rains would cost the Pakistan economy at least $10 billion, according to Federal Minister for Finance and Revenue Miftah Ismail.
The federal minister shared the estimate in an interview with Wall Street Journal (WSJ), saying the economic impact of floods would be at least $10 billion.
This roughly translates to 3% of gross domestic product (GDP).
Officials say this year's flooding has affected more than 33 million people -- one in seven Pakistanis -- destroying or badly damaging nearly a million homes.
Climate Change Minister Sherry Rehman called it "the monster monsoon of the decade".
“The rain is relentless, the water is coming down from a merciless sky, and we are now in the eighth week in the south of the country, where many districts are beginning to look like they are part of the ocean,” said Federal Minister for Climate Change Sherry Rehman, while talking to DW News.
“Our helicopter sorties are not finding dry land to drop rations and essential services.” With more than 30 million people affected across Pakistan, the navy has been deployed for the first time, she added.
Officials said 1,061 people have died since June when the seasonal rains began, but the final toll could be higher as hundreds of villages in the mountainous north have been cut off by flood-swollen rivers washing away roads and bridges.
Being an agricultural country, Pakistan heavily relies on monsoon rains for its crops and to replenish lakes and dams, but it can also bring destruction. Moreover, the flooding could not have come at a worse time for Pakistan, where the economy remains engulfed in rising inflation and depleting forex reserves.
Pakistan is already relying on funding from the International Monetary Fund (IMF), which will meet later on Monday (today) to take up Pakistan’s programme review.
On Sunday, foreign minister Bilawal Bhutto said Pakistan needs financial help to deal with “overwhelming” floods, adding that he hoped financial institutions such as the IMF would take the economic fallout into account.
“Going forward, I would expect not only the IMF, but the international community and international agencies to truly grasp the level of devastation,” he said.